Roeder's Rally Cry

Glenn Roeder says David O' Leary knew exactly what he was doing when he splashed the cash for Rio Ferdinand.
Glenn, who will see THREE games against Leeds on Saturday after taking in the U17s and U19s in the morning at Chadwell Heath, says:
"If there is a better centre half than Rio Ferdinand I have not seen him.
"David O' Leary definitely knew what he was doing when he paid £18m for Rio.
"Quite a few people thought he had paid too much but seeing him against Arsenal the other day, he looked a bargain.
"But you can't replace Rio Ferdinand, there is only one.
"That doesn't mean we can't build a team to do better - and it will be a team effort rather than two or three individuals."
Glenn knows, having studied Leeds at close quarters on Tuesday, that the first home game of the season will be an extremely tough one and adds:
"The quality of the football at times was breathtaking and we will have our hands full.
"They are the in form team of the top five - full of running and very aggressive.
"They are a young squad and getting better each year and, after having had the experience of getting top the semi final of the Champions' league last year, they will be all the stronger for that experience."
Leeds' win at Highbury was refereed by Jeff Winter, who carded five West Ham players at Anfield on Saturday.
Three - Christian Dailly, Paolo Di Canio, and Trevor Sinclair - were booked for dissent, and Glenn says:
"Jeff Winter booked five of our players at Liverpool and I think that some of those bookings were unnecessary.
"It is typical of most seasons when referees stick absolutely to the rule book.
"Normally they slacken off during the season, though.
"Dissent bookings are not acceptable, for, as long as I've been in the game, in fact as long as anyone has been in the game, a referee has not changed his mind.
"It is a waste of energy and a waste of time to argue with the referee and I can't stick up for any player that goes down that route."
Glenn says he does not know what sort of reaction he will get for his first home game in charge, and admits:
"There will be some fans coming to their first game of the season who aren't too sure where I'm coming from  - and I understand those feelings.
"But we want them to believe that we can do the job that is required.
"There will still be some fans thinking why didn't the club go for a so-called big name.
"But nothing guarantees you success in football - except being given a lot of money to spend and knowing how to spend it."
Which brings Glenn back to Leeds.
"David O'Leary inherited a very good young side but what he has done is add some quality signings to that.
"All of his signings have been very, very good," he says.
As for his own efforts in the transfer market, he says:
"The reason it has been so difficult to bring in players is that I'm looking to get players to make the squad better, to find players that will go straight into the first team.
"But if our players show the same effort and attitude that they did last week then I'm sure it will be a good game for our first home match of the season."
As for the injury to David James preventing what would have been his home debut, he says:
"I have known David James since he was 17 and I've never known him to have an injury of any sort - and before he puts on a West Ham shirt in anger he is out for three or four months.
"What can he do about that, and what can I do about that except take it full on the face?
"Hopefully Shaka will stand in for David and do a great job.
"I don't think Shaka himself was happy with last season's form.
"He was put back in the team too soon after his broken leg and I think it affected his confidence for the whole season.
"But in the previous two seasons he played his part in the team finishing in the top half of the season."
Glenn is perhaps more reserved than his predecessor - but admits that there may - perhaps - be a lump in his throat as 3pm approaches.
"I felt very proud and priveleged from day one," he says.
"It may be extra special at kick off time but every morning when I wake up I feel proud to be at West Ham - and that's how I want the players I bring in to feel."
As for the changes on and off the field, he adds:
"The squad needs rebuilding as the ground does.
"It's potentially looking fantastic; obviously there will be a few teething problems and the pitch in realation to the new stand is a long way away.
"But these things will sort themselves out in time and ultimately we will have a great stadium.
"There is a rebuilding job going on in the stadium and I need to rebuild the squad myself.
"Not all of it, because we have some excellent players here, but we need more.
"I'm not any closer to making the signings we want but I'm hoping that those clubs that don't want to let their players go, because of our persistence, they will."